In May 2002, on his way to work one morning, Darryl was involved in a head on collision with a 40-ton lorry. The result was catastrophic and he needed specialist help fast.

The Devon Air Ambulance helicopter soon arrived on-scene and its paramedics immediately assessed Darryl’s injuries. It was clear that Darryl needed urgent help. His condition was stabilised at the scene and he was then swiftly airlifted to the RD & E hospital for further intensive care. Tests showed that upon impact Darryl had broken all of the bones in his skull and he had suffered a severe brain injury with only 20% chance of survival; his anxious family were told that if he was lucky to pull through, he would likely suffer lifelong consequences.

A long road to recovery

Darryl was very lucky to survive. He endured several major operations and he and his family prepared themselves for a long journey towards full health. He remained at the RD & E hospital for 8 weeks where he had to learn to do simple everyday tasks again, but with much determination he is now fully recovered.

Darryl’s proud partner Peta shared her experience of Darryl’s recovery:

“I am a support worker for young adults with autism and learning disabilities. In November 2019 I started to work with young people. I wanted to make a difference to someone who has a life to live and a possibility to improve their capabilities and learn new skills. It’s hard work but it’s so rewarding to see every little accomplishment, it makes me proud and happy to be part of it. Rehabilitation has been a major part of Darryl’s life and I know just how much he has achieved and how every small step has made a huge difference to him.

I know that Darryl would’ve died that day, had it not been for the crew of the Devon Air Ambulance who helped him at the scene and then flew him so quickly to get the urgent intensive care he needed. We want to say thank you and now that Darryl feels strong enough, our way to do that is by doing a fundraising walk from the RD & E Hospital to Dawlish to try to raise as much money as we can to help Devon Air Ambulance to save more lives like they saved Darryl’s.

Darryl has suffered for many years with epilepsy, subsequently he has also suffered with PTSD, depression and anxiety and to this date he can’t cope with sudden changes, too much noise and he’s prone to panic attacks. His neurologist told him that he would never be able to work again.

But Darryl is a determined, strong and very brave man, he has become an inspiration to others, showing immense perseverance. His recovery has been so fantastic and successful and 19 years later - and against the odds - Darryl has started to work again and since September 2020 has been enjoying a full-time job with Exeter Council.

If you can support Darryl and Peta in their challenge and help to raise their fundraising total it will mean a great deal to them both as every penny counts towards helping to save another life.

Visit their fundraising page